U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow last Friday announced that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will receive approximately $2.2 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to help continue the cleanup of contaminated sediment from industrial waste in the Manistique River.
According to Senator Peters, member of the Great Lakes Task Force, this support will help MDEQ develop and implement measures to remediate poly-chlorinated biphenyls (PCB) contamination in the watershed.
“Michigan is blessed with an abundance in natural resources, and it is vital that we work to protect these resources for future generations,” said Senator Peters. “I applaud this funding, which will build on efforts to clean the Manistique River watershed and boost the Upper Peninsula’s economy.”
“Our lakes and waterways are part of who we are and our way of life,” said Senator Stabenow, Co-Chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force. “This investment will help clean up pollution and conserve beautiful natural resources in the Manistique watershed for generations to come.”
The Manistique River has been listed as an Area of Concern since 1987 due to repeated contamination from PCBs, oils and combined sewer overflows. In addition, debris and sawdust from more than a century of logging and milling in the region have degraded the Manistique River watershed. As a result, over the years there have been restrictions on dredging and fish and wildlife consumption, as well as beach closings.
When completed, the project is expected to significantly reduce the PCB levels in the Manistique River channel and harbor. With successful remediation, dredging restrictions will be removed and fish PCB concentrations will return to safe levels.
Meeting these objectives will lead to the removal of the remaining Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) that were identified in 1987 for the Manistique River Area of Concern.